If you thought the mountains of paperwork, home inspections, and mortgage applications were the end of the new house buying experience, wait until you get settled into your new home and stuff starts breaking. For first-time homeowners, the lead-up Moving Day in is full of anxiety, confusion, and stress. The ownership part of home ownership is no different–at least when you start out. The problem is, you don’t know what you don’t know, and you desperately need a new home maintenance checklist to start you off on the right foot.
The good news is, nobody knows what they don’t know when they’ve never done it before! Your 60-year-old neighbor who stares sidelong at you, scrutinizing your every move, as you get on the roof for the first time to clean the gutters–he may look like an expert from your perspective, but he wasn’t always an expert. Thirty years ago, he was in your shoes, feeling uncertain about his new-home-know-how, and some older, wiser neighbor was probably looking on with the same critical eye. And while you may not be an expert now, if you keep up with the regular maintenance that’s required of homeowners, you’ll not only have a strong and healthy house or decades to come, but if you’re lucky you’ll one day have the great honor of staring skeptically at the new homeowners who move in next to you someday.
The 1% Rule of Maintenance
The “1% Rule” says that about 1% of the cost of your home should be saved every year for home maintenance. That doesn’t mean a $250,000 home will require $2,500 every year to maintain. It means only that you’re prepared if something does go wrong. Obviously, the age of your house, the size, and the weather where you live can either complicate or simplify the application of this rule, but it’s a good start to mentally preparing you for the extra investment you’ll want to make to keep your home in tip top shape.A Little Now Saves a Lot Later
Another rule of thumb is, for every $1 in maintenance you spend now, you save $100 later. This may sound like an exaggeration, but if anything it’s probably a conservative maxim. Vacuuming the coils of your refrigerator twice a year can add years to the life of your fridge, and at a cost of nothing. Replacing furnace and air conditioning filters will significantly reduce how hard your unit has to work to do its job, and a filter costs $5 compared to $4,000 for a new unit. This isn’t an absolute: just doing home maintenance won’t keep you from ever having to replace your appliances. But it does add years to the life of your appliances and at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.
You can and should apply these rules to everything. A minor grout patch will cost $10 and 15 minute on YouTube, which is thousands less than it would cost to replace a floor and hundreds less than replacing a wall that sustained water damage as a result of a leak. Gutters will rot out and drip down the side of your house if they’re not cleaned in the winter. Sealing cracks in stucco or siding can cost as little as $20 a year in exterior sealant, saving hundreds to thousands compared to the overhauls needed if left unrepaired for too long. All of these are easy home maintenance jobs if you’re paying attention, which is the first step in the process of knowing what you don’t know.
Make yourself a new home checklist. Separate it by season, or even by month. It should look something like this:Spring Replace batteries in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors Inspect bathroom grout and re-caulk any visible cracks Using binoculars safely from the ground, examine the roof for loose or missing shingles. Summer Vacuum fridge coils Clean kitchen exhaust hood & filter Inspect foundation for bugs or moisture Fall Clean gutters, trim trees and shrubs Schedule a furnace service (it’s cheaper in the fall than winter) Check all plumbing handles and hoses for leaks or moisture, tighten and lubricate as needed Winter Clean dryer vent and check washer and dishwasher hoses Inspect sinks, tubs, and toilets Garage door hinges and seals
This list is far from exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start. As these home maintenance inspections and your house become familiar to you, you’ll not only find new things to look for, but you’ll find that little things break, crack, or need fresh paint or re-caulking. Indoor walls, baseboards, and window frames aren’t going to cause structural issues, but they’ll need a little TLC nonetheless.A plumber is performing maintenance on a residential water heater Monthly Necessities
You can live without a dishwasher. You can’t live without a roof. Keep that in mind when you’re running through your home maintenance checklist. There are four main items that are vital to the core of every house: siding/stucco, roof, windows, and heating/cooling systems. If any one of these falters, you’re in for an expensive project. A few minutes every month–no more than a simple visual inspection–could save weeks of home repair headache and months of your paycheck. Look at the roof, gutters, downspouts, exterior windows, basements walls and windows, and attic. As far as furnaces and AC units, annual or twice-annual servicing can do the job, but checking them regularly for noises, obstructions, and dirt or outside debris is easy to do. Anywhere you see cracks, moisture, rot, bugs, or holes, you have a problem.A New Home Homeowner’s Best Friend
The Money Pit is a quick an easy resource if you run into an issue. Of course, the difficulty of the job determines the level of expertise needed to fix it. And we highly encourage you to shop for an expert when one is called for, but for hose replacements, simple cleaning jobs, grout patching, caulking, winterizing, and even questions about what to look for when you’re inspecting your house, The Money Pit’s how-to resources are virtually limitless, so make sure to bookmark our site and check back with us for more new home maintenance checklists, tips and tricks to keeping your new house a warm and structurally sound home for years to come!
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From Source Article: moneypit.com
LESLIE: Jason in Iowa is dealing with some asbestos removal, a topic I’m very familiar with these days.
Jason, what’s going on at your money pit?
JASON: Well, we bought a house. And in the basement, the ductwork has crumbling asbestos tape around all the seams. And I didn’t know it was asbestos at first. A gentleman – a friend of mine kind of told me that it was, which was good to know because I would have just started tearing it off there.
But I know that it can be dangerous. And I’ve been told to put on a good HEPA-filter mask and wet the filters and such and you can take it off and wear gloves and be careful. But is that really the case? I mean do I have to legally hire a professional to come in and remove something like that?
TOM: Preparing yourself for asbestos removal is definitely the smart thing to do, Jason. Because the problem with asbestos is it’s very, very fine. It’s finer than smoke. If you were to release asbestos particles and assuming there was no wind, it would take eight hours for them to hit the floor; that’s how fine they are.
So what you are seeing is only part of the problem. What you’re physically seeing, those chunks, is only part of it. This is a situation where you really can’t do it yourself.
LESLIE: Yeah. And the other part of the asbestos removal equation is the disposal. It’s like you can’t just take it and put it in a trash bag and stick it outside.
LESLIE: I’m in the process of having asbestos shingles removed from my home, on the exterior. And they have to be not only properly taken down and packed up in a certain manner but they have to be completely driven off to another state and certified that they’ve been disposed of in a proper manner. Now, I’m sure with just the tape wrapping the piping, that’s not going to be the extreme case there but you do have to make sure that it’s disposed of properly. You don’t want to get in any trouble.
TOM: And by the way, Jason, you can’t visually identify asbestos. So the very first thing you should do is to have some – a sample of the material tested to confirm that it is, in fact, asbestos.
JASON: And who would do that?
TOM: An asbestos lab.
Leslie, you just had asbestos testing done. Who did you use for that? Was it a local lab?
LESLIE: It was a local company that also does the removal. But there are several companies. I would just look locally at asbestos removal. And it was fairly simple and the test took about two days. And it gives you a percentage of asbestos found in the item and it’s interesting.
JASON: Well, thanks so much for your time and hopefully it won’t be too costly that I have to call it a “money pit.”
TOM: OK, Jason. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
There are many things that are integral to a home or building, but one of the most important parts is the door. Doors allow you entry into the home or into a room inside. They also let you have privacy, security, and protection from the elements. But with so many different types of doors that you can use in your home, which offer the best combination of beauty, security and energy efficiency?
Whether you need an exterior front door or a small pocket door to your bathroom, there are many options to consider. From material to style, the type of door you choose will have a big impact on the way your home looks and functions.Single Doors
Single doors are probably one of the most types of doors installed. They can be interior or exterior, made of wood, fiberglass, steel, glass, or some kind of combination. They can be solid or hollow, and come in many different designs. The type of single door you choose for your home will be largely dictated by several factors.Function and Cost
Is this an interior door or an exterior door? Exterior doors are more likely to be heavy, solid, and secure. For that reason, you’re more likely to find an exterior door that’s made of steel or solid wood, rather than fiberglass, glass, or a hollow core. Because of their heavy nature, an exterior door is likely to cost between $500 and $2,000. The cost is primarily based on style; a steel door with a decorative glass insert will cost more than a plain steel door, for example.
Interior doors may be a lighter weight than an exterior door. It may have a hollow core, be made of wood or MDF, or it may be solid or glass. Typically, the more secure you want the area to be, the heavier the door is likely to be. For example, closet doors are more likely to be hollow than bathroom or bedroom doors. Since interior doors are lighter and not designed to offer security, they typically cost between $75 and $125. In this case, hollow MDF doors are on the lowest end of the spectrum, while solid wood interior doors are on the higher end.Architecture and Style
The architecture of your home will play a large role in the type of door, its style, and its material. For example, if you have an Arts and Crafts, or a Craftsman style home, your front door will be made of wood, and will likely have some inset glass panels at the top. On the other hand, if you have a Colonial, then paneled doors are the most common style, with solid wood or steel doors used on the exterior and wood or MDF doors used inside.
To best determine what types of doors will look good in your home, identify your architectural style, then look up the popular door styles for when it was built.Double Doors
Double doors are an interesting and very specific door style that is mostly seen in certain architectural styles. Double doors may also be interior or exterior and made of many different materials, as well as having many different styles.
What makes this type of door different, is that the two doors may both be working doors, or you may have a one “dummy” door and one working door. In this case, only one door actually opens and functions, but it gives you the illusion of a larger doorway. Like single doors, the type of double door you may get may depend on several other factors.Function and Cost
With many types of doors, cost varies widely. Double doors are less common than single doors, but you can often find them in both interior and exterior locations. For the exterior of the home, it’s most common to find the double door in two places; the front door in a large entryway, and a French-style double door for to open out onto patios or outdoor living areas. When it comes to the exterior, you’ll likely find that the front doors are more likely to be wood, and if you are using a double door, it’s more common to choose a highly decorative style. Leading to the patio or backyard, a double door is more likely to be made of glass.
The cost of an exterior double door is largely driven by material at this point. For example, a double steel door will cost around $2,500, while a double wood door will cost around $1,500. Adding glass to either door will raise the cost again by half, so around $3,750 for a steel double door with glass and around $2,750 for a wooden double door made of glass on average. Costs can go much higher if you add other decorative elements, and for certain types of security doors.
A double glass door, such as French doors has a different price point, at around $1,200. Keep in mind these are not as secure.
On the interior of the home, you’ll actually find that double doors can be used nearly anywhere that you have a wide space. For example, double doors on the interior of a home are most commonly found leading to dining rooms, master bedrooms, home offices, and home libraries.
Like exterior doors, interior double doors may be made of wood or they may be glass “French” doors. In both cases, it’s common to see a very elaborate double door, as the space the doors take up is larger, which leads to more area for decoration.
For this area, the cost of glass doors is around the same – $1,200. For wooden interior doors, costs start around $500, and go up from there the more decorative they become.
The most common architectural style to feature a double door is the Victorian. Nearly all Victorian style homes feature double doors in some way. This includes both the front door and interior doors as well.Sliding Doors
Many homes today also feature sliding doors. Sliding doors are ideal for spaces that have a lot of width, but not a lot of room for a door to swing.Function and Cost
In many cases, sliding doors are most commonly installed as an exterior door leading to a deck, patio, porch, or other outdoor living space. These doors are usually made of glass and are designed to give you a large, unimpeded view of the exterior, while at the same time providing you with an easy to access area. A basic sliding glass door will run around $300, but can increase to $700 or $900 if you opt for a full wall of glass, or special features like internal blinds.
Sliding types of doors can also be used inside, however. There are a few different types of interior sliding doors, and ways that you may use them. The most common is the decorative sliding door. Usually a double door and either decorative or paneled, these doors will slide along the walls, effectively turning one large room into two smaller areas when the doors are shut. These doors are most likely to be wood, but in areas where weight is an issue, they may also be made of fiberglass. These doors start at around $500 and go up to about $1,000 for most styles.Architecture and Style
The Barn door, a specific style of sliding door, is becoming increasingly popular as interior options, particularly in rustic-style homes. These doors may be reclaimed barnwood or new, and they have a rustic modern style that’s very appealing in some settings. The hardware for these doors is usually left exposed while more traditional sliding doors will have their hardware hidden.
For Victorian homes, you may find more ornate sliding doors with heavier panels and decorative carvings.Pocket Doors
A subset of the sliding door is the pocket door. This type of door is designed to slide into the wall when not in use, so that it can no longer be seen when open.Function and Cost
Pocket doors are best suited to small areas that cannot accommodate a door swing, such as Jack and Jill bathrooms that connect to bedrooms.
Pocket doors may be made of any material including wood, fiberglass, MDF, hollow core, or metal. Because they are designed to slide into the wall when not in use, they’re usually plainer in style than other types of sliding doors. Pocket doors are often plain in appearance, but because of the difficulty in install, you can expect to pay around $700 to have a pocket door put in your home.Architecture and Style
You’ll primarily find pocket doors in smaller homes, such as Bungalows. Rather than being part of the style, since the doors are often hidden, they rely more on function and operation within the space.Picking the Perfect Types of Doors for Your Home
The right type of door for a home will ultimately come down to many things. Style, architecture, location, material, and personal preference. Keep in mind that the cost to install doors does vary depending on style, as well as size and type, as does the cost of the doors themselves. The right door can be perfect finishing touch to any home exterior or interior, so be sure to find the right type of door for your project to get the look and function you’re after.
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From Source Article: moneypit.com